Commercial Liquor Licensing
SLGA's Liquor Licensing Branch processes liquor permit applications for all commercial type facilities including restaurants, taverns, manufacturers, U-brew/U-vin and special use facilities (private clubs, sporting outlets, exhibitions, etc.). The Branch processes special requests from permit holders including amendments to liquor permits, extension of permitted areas and changes to the physical layouts of outlets. The Branch also provides information regarding legislation, regulations and policy respecting the operations of liquor outlets throughout the province.
SLGA no longer issues capacity certificates for permitted establishments. As building capacity is regulated under the National Fire Code of Canada, you may want to contact your local fire or building inspector to determine the capacity of your premises.
In this section, the eligibility and requirements for:
- Special Use Permit
- Manufacturer Permit
- U-Brew/U-Vin Operation Permit
- Retail Store Permits
Eligibility and Requirements:
An applicant may be eligible for a Restaurant Permit where the primary purpose of the establishment is the preparation and sale of food for consumption on the premises. A ratio of at least one dollar of food sales for each dollar of beverage alcohol sales (calculated on a monthly basis) must be maintained.
A reasonable number of meal choices, consistent with the dining concept of the establishment, and sufficient enough to constitute a person’s lunch or supper. must be available in the restaurant area at all times. Adjacent areas such as a lounge or patio may provide light meals (consisting of one item or a smaller serving commonly referred to as an appetizer).
A Restaurant Permit holder may open the restaurant establishment every day for beverage alcohol service between the maximum regulated hours, and may remain open for food service after lawful beverage alcohol service and the cut-off period cease.
Light meals (consisting of one item or a smaller serving commonly referred to as an appetizer) and non-alcoholic beverages must be available to patrons before 11:00pm. After 11:00pm, pre-packaged snacks such as chips or peanuts are sufficient and non-alcoholic beverages must be available. . If authorized for family dining, a reasonable number of meal choices, consistent with the dining concept of the establishment, and sufficient enough to constitute a person’s lunch or supper must be available.
A Tavern Permit holder may open the tavern establishment every day for beverage alcohol service between the Maximum Regulated Hours. The establishment must close to customers after lawful beverage alcohol service and the cut-off period cease.
An applicant may be eligible for a Special Use Permit where the establishment does not focus on food or beverage alcohol service, but has a "special use" that is specified in The Alcohol Control Regulations, 2016 – such as facilities for recreational, sport, social, entertainment activities, or delivery of beverage alcohol to private homes.
Establishments that qualify for a Special Use Permit:
- Bingo Halls
- Catering (no restaurant or tavern premises)
- Cooking Class Premises where students prepare and consume meals on-site
- Home Delivery
- Military Messes
- Northern Camps where dining and lodging are provided
- Premises in a university or post-secondary educational institution
- Premises in an Airport
- Premises where Fairs or Exhibitions are held
- Private Clubs
- Public transportation (i.e. railway car, limousine, airplane, tour bus, vessel, or pedal pub)
- Salon or Spa
- Special Care Facilities
- Sports Facilities (i.e. golf club, billiard hall and curling club)
- Sports Stadiums
- Theatre or Concert Premises
- Hotel/Motel Lobby
- Premises at a Public Market
A food menu containing light meals (appetizer style of menu) and non-alcoholic beverages is required for most special use permit types. Theatres/ concert premises/ convention centres, and public conveyances are to maintain a supply of non-alcoholic beverages for sale or provision to customers. Salons and spas, hotel/motel lobbies, and public markets are to have pre-packaged snacks (such as chips, nuts, cheese and crackers, etc.) and non-alcoholic beverages for sale or provision to customers. Cooking class premises may serve liquor only during cooking classes and consumption of meals prepared by the students. Catering companies may provide liquor service to an event only if that company is also providing meal service for the event.
Hours for Special Use Permits are restricted as stated on each permit. In no case may a permit holder sell or serve beverage alcohol outside of the Maximum Regulated Hours. Special Use Home Delivery Permit holders may continue to take and deliver orders during the Tolerance Period.
- the manufacture of craft alcohol by fermentation or distillation;
- the manufacture of beverage alcohol by fermentation or distillation; or
- the bottling of beverage alcohol.
Types of manufacturers are:
- Craft Winery
- Craft Distillery
- Craft Brewery
- Craft Cidery
- Craft Refreshments
The craft manufacturer permit is separated into Craft Manufacturer Type 1 and Craft Manufacturer Type 2. Generally:
- Type 1 craft alcohol producers undertake a greater amount of on-site manufacturing (i.e., mashing, fermenting and distilling) on-site with raw inputs.
- Type 2 craft alcohol producers have less on-site manufacturing processes compared to Type 1 craft alcohol producers.
An applicant may be eligible for a U-Brew/U-Vin Operation permit where a business provides goods, facilities and services to persons manufacturing within the facility beer, wine, cider or coolers for personal consumption or consumption by others at no charge in a private place.
An applicant may be eligible for a for a Retail Store permit for a premises on which beverage alcohol is to be sold in closed containers for consumption off the premises. An applicant must be the owner of the interest in a retail store permit.